Rui Carvalho reviews Living Will, book collection by Andre Oliveira and Joana Afonso

Artwork from Living Will

Artwork from Living Will

The comics “Living Will” is an original idea by André Oliveira (writer) and Joana Afonso (graphic designer). I strongly recommend you to try this collection of seven small books because, I believe, their content is truly unique and, most of all, it is “an arrow to our hearts,” capturing our attention.

The very first sentences are revealing: “My pops used to say life’s just like a pint of beer. It begins as a sparkly refreshing nectar, bringing some kind of golden and sacred joy, and it ends with bitter taste.” There’s a depth of feeling or an unusual sacred revelation (or not) in these words that takes the piece to another level of meaning where time really matters.  Especially if we take into account that old Will’s life as he understands it has “reached sort of a dead end, so it seems.” He is the main character, the hero of this adventure and all he feels is that something has happened that he should take into account. He misses Judith, his dead spouse, but, on the other hand he has a bag full of pieces of memories encrypted in small white papers…

He admits “I’m sick of saying goodbye. It is by far the coldest word.” I believe he is speaking about the feelings, not the letters and the words in itself, because they have no meaning unless we give them a meaning… they are like a painting not of a landscape but of a part of our mind, our heart. And when our hero says he “doesn’t want to burn anymore” we are certain he will do something. He will embrace a journey to fix all the loose ends of his life. After all, he was a restoration technician, and he believes he might be able to restore some bad aspects of his life.

In another essay I will continue to look into the story of this piece of art but now let us consider the drawings. They are also essential to tell us this story: the drawings without text, the silence as a part of the story, making us take time to really see what’s going on between those lines of 2D reality and become a part of the magic appeal of this book. Also the curves of the lines together with the almost monochrome horizon create an atmospheric vision of a very personal world. What gives this peaceful and profound feeling to the reality? Will? Or we, when we are held captive by spooky situations and unforgettable colors? Yes, we must come back to this book in the future.

If you want you can contact the authors of the book here:

André Oliveira

If they don’t answer please contact me at:

Please submit your poetry or short story to the International Literary Contest “Nature 2016”

Thank you very much.

One thought on “Rui Carvalho reviews Living Will, book collection by Andre Oliveira and Joana Afonso

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